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drive to be the largest engine MRO, but hopefully the best. That attitude, plus Penn Yan Aero’s attention to detail, has built its reputation and sustained three generations of Middlebrooks: Harold first, then his son Darryl, and now Bill. For the record, there is a fourth Middlebrook waiting in the wings. But since Reese Patrick Middlebrook is only five years old, it remains to be seen whether he will take over in the years to come.

Penn Yan Aero’s Approach

Today, Penn Yan Aero provides service both to individual customers and through fixed-base operators (FBOs) such as DLK Aviation (Georgia), Power Aviation (California) and Boshart Enterprise (New York). Its raison d’etre is engines, whether they are Teledyne Continental or Textron Lycoming. Like people, aircraft engines work in all kinds of situations.

Those are flown for skydivers tend to take some of the worst punishment, thanks to their constant cold-and-hot cycles – warm up, take off, deploy skydivers, land and turn off. Airborne advertising banners are also tough on engines. The extra load plus the drag caused by fabric flapping behind the tail at low altitudes takes its toll. “If you want an aircraft

engine to last, then you need to let it run at a constant RPM,” Middlebrook observes. Whatever the engine’s history,

each one receives the same treatment. It begins when the engine arrives in a shipping container at Penn Yan Aero’s loading dock. “After we take it out of the

box, an inventory sheet is immediately started so that we know exactly what we’ve received,” says Bill Middlebrook. “At this point, the engine is loaded onto a trolley cart.”

“This cart will be its home

throughout the entire servicing process,” he adds. “It carries all the components, paperwork and parts waiting either to be rebuilt or replaced.” The trolley heads to the

engine teardown area. This is where a group of Penn Yan Aero technicians carefully take the engine apart piece-by-piece. Once disassembled, every component is inventoried and then completely cleaned. With the grime removed, it is

time for a painstaking inspection. “We go over every part carefully to see what condition it is in and what needs to be repaired or replaced,” Middlebrook says. “Crankshafts and crankcases are frequently require attention, due to wear- and heat-related stress and warping.” Damaged crankshafts and

crankcases are sent to the machine shop for realignment or replaced if they are beyond repair. Meanwhile,

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Aviation Maintenance | avmain-mag.com | April/May 2010

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